“I Am A Man” VR Experience is an interactive virtual reality experience set to the historic events of the African- American Civil Rights Movement. Users will witness the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike and the events leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using the Oculus Rift VR headset. The VR project was created by Derek Ham and won an award for funding through the Oculus Launch Pad program.
to the NCRM
Established in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. In mid 2018, the I AM A MAN VR experience will be installed into the Museum as a permanent part of their exhibits to commemorate MLK50.
This project was selected as a 2017 Scholarship Winner from the Oculus Rift Launchpad Program. Launch Pad is a program designed to support promising VR content creators so they can take their unique ideas and bring them to market. Oculus kicks things off with a weekend boot camp, held at Facebook/Oculus HQ in Menlo Park followed by continued mentoring and support as participants develop their own VR experiences.
“I Am A Man” VR Experience is an interactive virtual reality experience set to the historic events of the African- American Civil Rights Movement.
The vision is to give people an experience of history in a way that provides a more personal understanding of the struggles of these marginalized people. The VR experience allows one to literally walk in the shoes of people who fought for freedom and equality during the civil rights era. Most importantly, this project gives users a deeper awareness of their struggle. Using historical film and photographs, along with voice narrations of actual Civil Rights participants, the project falls along the lines of a new type of interactive-documentary experience. I Am A Man VR experience looks to help usher in this rich new way of experiencing history.
Derek Ham, PhD is an independent VR developer who also teaches as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at North Carolina State’s College of Design. He completed his doctoral work in Design Computation from MIT, holds a Master’s in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University.
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